MPOWERD is a company that makes portable solar lights. The company was started in 2012 by John Salzinger and Alex Green. MPOWERD’s mission is to provide clean and affordable energy to people in developing countries.
MPOWERD’s products are designed to be used in off-grid situations, such as in remote villages or during power outages. MPOWERD’s lights are portable, weatherproof, and have a long battery life.
The company has won several awards for its products, including the Ashoka-LEAP Award and the United Nations Foundation Access to Energy Award. MPOWERD is headquartered in New York City.
It is estimated that three billion people around the world don’t have access to adequate electricity!
Seeing this as an amazing opportunity, in 2012, MPOWERD created the innovative Luci light.
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The light became the first inflatable solar light with the goal of making an affordable clean energy product that people could use in any situation.
Billions of people around the world use toxic and expensive kerosene lamps for light. MPOWERD created the Luci to not only be portable, but also clean and safe.
The Luci solar powered light also makes clean and portable electricity available for those who love the outdoors, camping adventures, and backyard parties.
How does the portable solar power light work?
Luci taps into a source of light that’s limitless and readily available to everyone on our planet — the sun.
Advancements in renewable tech have given us the means to literally put the power of the sun into the palm of your hand.
Below is an interview with MPOWERD Founder John Salzinger and CEO Seungah Jeong on the progress made so far and its mission to empower the billions around the world without adequate access to electricity.
Q: Why is it a healthy option for our environment and human health in general?
Seungah: We do this with our curriculum that we developed in conjunction with Denver State University.
Through our solar light STEM kit, we teach students that solar energy is simply energy from the sun in the form of solar radiation.
Our Luci Solar lights work by capturing the sun’s energy through our photovoltaic (solar) cells and converting this into direct electrical current.
Solar energy is a healthy option for our environment and human health because it only requires the sun’s energy. There are no negative outputs resulting from the conversion to electricity.
Q: 3 billion people around the world lack reliable access to electricity. How has MPOWERD impacted some of these people who lack access?
John: MPOWERD utilizes developed world retail and corporations to create scale. This enables healthy enough margins that, in effect, subsidize localized pricing in emerging markets and emergency response.
We then implement deployment of portable clean energy products through 500 NGOs and Non-Profits.
Q: What is the Build-Your-Own Luci project and how has that impacted students?
Seungah: Our Build Your Own Luci project is a STEM kit that we built to teach students about solar energy, electricity, and science and technology.
We sell this product in notable retailers like Barnes & Noble. We also launched a program called ENLIGHTEN to teach public school students about clean technology.
As a B Corp, we believe it is part of our mission to educate and empower the next generation to contribute solutions to our social and environmental concerns.
Q: What is the state of renewable energies around the world? Is it living up to the potential? What else can be done from consumers and governments to speed up the process of becoming a renewable world?
John: Our planet is in an environmental crisis today, right now!
The fact that the US has pulled out of the Paris Accord coupled with the fact that the federal government spends over $20bn per year on fossil fuel subsidies.
These numbers have to change and the US has to lead. Unfortunately, the current policies are moving us in the wrong direction.It continues to move away from solar subsidies in a time when infrastructure investment at the federal level could literally positively impact efficiencies, job creation, human heath and our planet.
It continues to move away from solar subsidies in a time when infrastructure investment at the federal level could literally positively impact efficiencies, job creation, human heath and our planet.
The major solar initiatives are emanating from other countries. The US must move into a cleaner more efficient energy system that benefits more of the population and not a select few companies.
Consumers have a lot of power in where they spend their dollars. Money is power in capitalism and buyers’ choice defines the direction of policy. Consumers should invest in and purchase companies that align with their own self interests and that protect future generations. Get out the vote and get out purchasing power!
Q: What are MPOWERD goals over the next 3-5 years?
Seungah: MPOWERD’s mission is to bring clean technology into everyday lives all around the world. We want to showcase how clean technology can revolutionize consumer electronics.
We can accomplish this by helping to provide an additional level of functionality that can help a consumer live, work, and play off the grid.
In addition, through educating and delighting the consumer, we want inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to visualize business as a way to effect measurable change.
John: We want to lead a movement that drives the next generation. We want other existing companies to look at the global challenges emerging markets face as financial opportunities to place investment and introduce technology adoption – thus automagically and sustainably creating positive societal change.
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 150 countries. Grant has personally interviewed 700+ impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.